Tag Archives: YOUTH HUNT

22 Free Youth Pheasant Hunts Coming Up Around Oregon; Registration Open

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Youth hunters (age 17 and under) can sign up now for ODFW’s free pheasant hunts happening around the state in September.

The events are being held in Baker City, Central Point, Corvallis, Eugene, Irrigon/Umatilla, John Day, Klamath Falls, La Grande, Madras, Portland, The Dalles (Tygh Valley). See dates below and register online (see Register for a Class/Youth Upland Hunts), at a license sales agent or at an ODFW office that sells licenses. Note that the Ladd Marsh and Fern Ridge hunts do not require advance registration.

MEAGAN JANSEN OF TIGARD WITH A PHEASANT SHE BAGGED AT 2011’S EE WILSON WILDLIFE AREA YOUTH PHEASANT HUNT. (odfw)

ODFW and partners stock pheasants at these special hunts that give youth a head start on regular pheasant seasons, which don’t begin until October. Quail and dove can also be hunted. Volunteers often bring their trained hunting dogs to hunt with participants. Some events also begin with a shotgun skills clinic, so participants can practice clay target shooting before hunting.

These events are only open to youth who have passed hunter education. (ODFW has many hunter education classes and field days available before the events.) An adult 21 years of age or older must accompany the youth to supervise but may not hunt.

“If your child made it through hunter education but is still new to the sport, this is a great way to get them started,” says James Reed, ODFW hunter education coordinator. “These events happen before regular pheasant seasons open and are a great opportunity for kids to get out hunting.”

ODFW stresses safety during the hunts. Both hunter and supervisor must wear a hunter orange hat, eye protection and a hunter orange vest—equipment provided by ODFW at the clinics to anyone who doesn’t have it. Hunters also need to check in and out of the hunt.

The hunts are free, though participants need a valid hunting license ($10 for youth 12 and older, free for age 11 and under) to hunt. Youth hunters age 12-17 also need an upland game bird validation ($4). Purchase online, at a license sales agent or ODFW office that sells licenses. Licenses and validations will not be sold at the events.

While most areas have a hunt both Saturday and Sunday, youth hunters may only sign up for one hunt. They are welcome to hunt stand by on the other day.

See the links below (from www.odfwcalendar.com) for more details including who to contact for more information.

  • Baker City area, Sept. 23 and Sept. 24. Note this event is not near the Baldock Slough Wetlands Project (regulations are in error). People who register for the event will be notified of its location via email.
  • Central Point, Denman Wildlife Area, Sept. 16 and Sept. 17.
  • Corvallis (near Camp Adair), EE Wilson Wildlife Area, Sept. 23 and Sept. 24.
  • Eugene, Fern Ridge Wildlife Area, Sept. 9 and Sept. 10. Registration not necessary but appreciated.
  • Irrigon Wildlife Area (between Irrigon and Umatilla), Sept. 23 and Sept. 24, sign up for morning or evening hunt (morning only on Sunday), see event listings at www.odfwcalendar.com
  • Klamath Falls, Klamath Wildlife Area, Sept. 16 and Sept. 17. Additional hunt on Oct. 21 when Miller Island Unit open to youth hunters only from 10 a.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • John Day Valley, Sept. 16 and Sept. 17
  • La Grande, Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area, Sept. 16 and Sept. 17. No advance registration required.
  • Madras, Gateway Canyon Preserve, Sept. 9 and Sept. 10, sign up for one of several three-hour hunting shifts.
  • Portland, Sauvie Island Wildlife Area, Sept. 16 and Sept. 17.
  • Tygh Valley/The Dalles, White River Wildlife Area, Sept. 16 and Sept. 17.

Patience Pays Off For Oregon Youth With Big Spring Gobbler

Editor’s note: The following blog was written and photographed by Troy Rodakowski.

By Troy Rodakowski

Last Friday the Pacific Northwest was hit with a doozy of a wind storm that left several thousand folks without power and cleanup crews working overtime to remove downed trees and limbs. I had donated a youth turkey hunt to the statewide OHA banquet a year earlier and had plans to take 12-year-old Jacob Haley, who had recently passed his hunters safety class, along with his father Jason from Medford, out that day, April 8th, as well as the 9th if needed.

However, the Tuesday before then my first daughter was born, and we were held up in the hospital until Saturday morning. Luckily, Jason and Jacob were able to book an additional night in their hotel and stay until Sunday for some turkey action.

TWELVE-YEAR-OLD JACOB HALEY PROUDLY SHOWS OFF HIS 10½-INCH-BEARDED GOBBLER THAT SPORTED 1-INCH SPURS. (TROY RODAKOWSKI)

We made the short 20-minute drive to our hunting grounds, scarfed down some sausage breakfast sandwiches I had made, swilled some beverages and got our gear ready.

I had a small 6-acre parcel of private land that had a couple strutters working it during the midmornings and early afternoons. I placed a hen decoy about 30 yards from our tree-covered fence and began to call. With nothing making a sound for nearly two hours I could tell Jacob was getting a little cold. The temperature had dropped to nearly 33 degrees and sitting was difficult. I rounded up the father-son duo and told them we needed to get back to the truck and warm up.

IT IS ALWAYS A HEART-WARMING EXPERIENCE SEEING YOUTH ENJOY THE OUTDOORS. HERE JACOB NOTCHES HIS YOUTH TURKEY TAG. (TROY RODAKOWSKI)

Once we were warm we headed to a Christmas tree farm I had scouted over the last few months and where we could get some hiking in, which would help to keep our blood flowing. I yelped and cackled every once in a while listening for a response. At about 10 a.m. the weather had warmed, sun began to peek out and we found ourselves above a nice meadow when Jason heard a gobbler cut off my yelp.

I quickly yelped again and he chimed back immediately from the meadow below. Jason told Jacob to follow me as we moved quickly down the trail. I found a nice tree, pointed to it and told Jacob to sit there while I promptly placed the hen decoy about 15 yards down the trail, then joined him at the base of the same tree. We got situated and I gave him instructions to try and get comfortable and ready to shoot once the bird cleared a small stump down the hill that was along the trail.

FATHER AND SON PAUSE TO SMILE FOR THE CAMERA AFTER PREPARING FOR THE HIKE BACK TO THE TRUCK. (TROY RODAKOWSKI)

Yelping again the bird immediately fired off. He was hot and I could now see him almost 150 yards down in the meadow strutting away. I called again and he began to head for the grassy trail we were set up on. Watching him I could tell he was picking up the pace and I could see his long beard swinging as he walked even quicker up the trail. Yelping one more time he went in full strut.

Jacob saw him and got excited. I told him to take his safety off and keep his finger away from the trigger. Whispering in his ear, I said, “Now, once he clears that short stump, I’ll tell you when to shoot.”

The bird proceeded ever so slowly as he approached the hen decoy. Strutting again just past the stump I waited as he dropped his fan and took two more steps. From the corner of my mouth I told Jacob, “Shoot him in the head.”

MEMORIES MADE IN THE OUTDOORS ARE SPECIAL. WITH A HEAVY LOAD TO HIKE OUT WITH, JASON AGREED TO CARRY JACOB’S BIRD FOR HIM. (TROY RODAKOWSKI)

He didn’t hesitate, as his 20-gauge Weatherby kicked almost instantaneously. The bird dropped immediately flopping around 30 yards from our tree.

We all celebrated the end to a great week and a great weekend. The Haleys were able to spend some priceless father-son time together, and ended the weekend with a very special turkey hunt. For me, the experience has already made my entire season a success. These are the special moments I fondly remember and hope to pass onto my own daughter in the years to come.

THE AUTHOR/GUIDE AND JACOB HALEY TAKE TIME TO SHOW OFF THE TROPHY RIO GRANDE. (TROY RODAKOWSKI)